A broad, bold back is a sure sign of physical authority.
The secret to a bigger, stronger back? Stop thinking of it as one big muscle.
Unlike your chest, your back is made up of more than just one major muscle group – it has lots of them.
In fact, your back houses a complex system of muscles, from your lats to your rhomboids to your upper, middle and lower traps, with each area performing a variety of functions.
That’s the reason why strengthening this area of your body isn’t as simple as doing “back” exercises, such as chin-ups and lat pulldowns.
Employ this workout and pummel this crucial complex of muscles from every conceivable angle.
2 sets of 20 reps
Kneel down, place your right hand behind your head, and point your elbow out to the side. Brace your core and rotate your right shoulder towards your left arm. Follow your elbow with your eyes as you reverse the movement until your right elbow points toward the ceiling. That’s 1 repetition. After you’ve completed the prescribed number of reps, switch arms and repeat. Rest 60 seconds between sets.
3 sets of 6 reps
Set a barbell at knee height in a squat rack. Stand with your hips back, knees slightly bent, knees against the bar. Grab the bar overhand with your hands just outside your legs. Stand up by pushing your hips forward. Begin with no weight, then when the exercise feels natural, start adding weight. Once the exercise is easy from the rack, lift the barbell from the floor using the same strict form. Rest 2-4 minutes between sets.
Two-part dumbbell row
3 sets of 8-10 reps
Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend at your hips and knees, and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Let the weights hang at arm’s length from your shoulders. Pull your shoulders back and hold that position. Next, pull the weights to the sides of your torso by squeezing your shoulder blades toward your spine. Lower to the starting position and repeat. Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.
3 sets of 3-5 reps
Hang from a chin-up bar with an overhand grip, your hands at the exact width you use when you do a bench press. Pull your chest up to the bar and hold for 10-20 seconds. That’s 1 rep. Once you can do more than 5 reps, add resistance with a weighted vest or a dumbbell between your feet, or do regular chin-ups. Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.
Cable diagonal raise
2 sets of 10-12 reps
Attach a handle to the low pulley of a cable station. Standing with your left side toward the pulley, grab the handle with your right hand in front of your left hip and bend your elbow slightly. Pull the handle up and across your body until your hand is over your head and your thumb is pointing up. Return to the starting position. Complete all reps and repeat with your left arm. Rest 60 seconds between sets.